Rock Radio Scrapbook
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: January 21, 1966
(CHUM jocks from late '65 to latter part of 1967; larger view here. Graphic courtesy Dale Johnson)
In 1966, CHUM boasted arguably one of the best lineups in the history of Top 40 radio. But what became of the jocks we enjoyed on CHUM back then?
First to depart from that classic lineup was Dick Hayes (1-4 p.m.). After CHUM, he moved to KOL Seattle (as Jeff Boeing), WNBC New York and WXYZ Detroit (as Jack Hayes). He retired from radio and living in Michigan.
Next to go were Bob McAdorey (4-7 p.m.), John Spragge (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) and Duff Roman (weekends). They left after the station switched to the Drake format in August, 1968. McAdorey went to CFGM, then to CHFI-AM (which later became CFTR), then back to CFGM in the 1970s. He arrived at Global-TV in the mid-'70s and spent more than a-quarter century there as an entertainment reporter. He died in 2005. Spragge, meanwhile, moved into radio management at CFRB and Talk 640. He died in 2008. Roman later went to CKFH - where he was the morning man and program director - then returned to CHUM in management.
Brian Skinner with the Everly Brothers, 1965. (The CHUM Archives)
Brian Skinner (7-10 p.m.) left in the summer of 1969. He went on a teaching career in Seattle. His son, Kori Skinner, was on CHUM for a time in the 1990s.
Bob Laine (midnight-6 a.m.) did his last regular CHUM shift in December, 1969 and did some fill-in work in 1970. He later became program director at CHUM-FM and held a variety of CHUM positions before retiring in 2003 after more than four decades at the station. He stayed active at CHUM organizing the station's archives.
Larry Solway (10 p.m.-midnight) did his last talk show on CHUM in 1970. He later did talk shows at CHIC Brampton, Ont., CFGM Richmond Hill, Ont., CFLY Kingston, Ont., and CFRB and CFYI (Talk 640) Toronto.
That leaves Jay Nelson (6-10 a.m.), who did his last CHUM show in December, 1980. He became the weatherman at CITY-TV Toronto, and also had Toronto radio gigs at CKFM, CKEY and CJEZ and CKAN Newmarket, Ont. He also taught radio at George Brown College in Toronto. Nelson died in 1994.
Hear Brian Skinner here.
(The Charlie Ritenburg Collection)
For more classic CHUM airchecks, visit The CHUM Archives
Click here for
GO BETTER WITH COKE" COMMERCIALS
As if the jocks, jingles and music weren't enough, even the commercials
were memorable on Top 40 radio in the '60s.
Especially outstanding were the ads for Coca-Cola, with the "Things Go Better With Coke" radio ad campaign. The campaign featured top musical artists of the day performing the now-famous "Things Go Better With Coke" jingle, modifying it to their own individual styles. They actually sounded like hit records!
The result was commercial magic. These well-crafted jingles have stood the test of time and still sound fabulous today.
Click on the links to hear a few examples:
Robbie Lane and the Disciples (1:07) *
David Clayton-Thomas and the Shays (1:05) *
Ray Charles (1:02) **
Nancy Sinatra (1:05) **
Freddie Cannon (1:00) **
The Supremes (1:26) **
(The Gary J. Peterson and Donald Major Collections) *
(Scrapbook archives) **
Station: WCFL Chicago
Date: March 18, 1966
When WCFL switched to Top 40 in 1965, general manager Ken Draper brought several employees with him from his previous station, KYW Cleveland. Among them was Jim Stagg, who became the afternoon drive jock at WCFL in the new format. Morning man Jim Runyon also came over from KYW, as did Dick Orkin, Jerry G. Bishop, chief engineer Mike King and newsman Jeff Kamen. WCFL was the latest addition to an impressive resume for Stagg, who had previously jocked at WYDE Birmingham, Ala., WIBG Philadelphia, KYA San Francisco and WOKY Milwaukee.
Stagg's WCFL show included features like the "Stagg Line" - a listener call-in line - and "Stagg's Starbeat" - celebrity interviews. He was named WCFL's music director in 1968 and later became program director before leaving for Chicago station WMAQ in 1971. Stagg left radio in 1975 to start a record store which grew into a chain, Record City. He also became a realtor and started a video production company.
Stagg died of cancer November 6, 2007 at the age of 72.
Enjoy Jim Stagg on WCFL here.
(The Bill Dulmage Collection)
Station: WKBW Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: March 25, 1966
How good was Jeff Kaye?
When radio buffs talk about WKBW, they mention WKBW and "the Jeff Kaye era at WKBW" as two separate entities.
Kaye came to 'KB in March 1966 from WBZ Boston as night-time leader of The Teenage Underground. But his real success at 'KB came as program director of the 50,000-watt blowtorch in the late '60s and early '70s. Among his many successes was his 1968 and 1971 adaptations of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, whose realism caused an uproar in western New York. A great judge of talent, Kaye brought to Buffalo outstanding jocks like Sandy Beach, Don Berns, Jack Armstrong and Bob MacRae, to go with existing 'KB talent like Dan Neaverth and Fred Klestine.
Pop-Tops, the WKBW Instant Replay (an edited version of the song just played), the Capsule Countdown (a montage of the top 10 songs of a week from the past followed by the number-one song) were all part the many little things that made Kaye's 'KB so special. There was "Music to the People", a series of free live concerts featuring local and national talent, the annual seven-hour Salvation Army Christmas broadcast, and Buffalo Bills football broadcasts that sounded more exiting than they probably were thanks to Kaye's superb production. But best of all, Kaye's KB sounded like Buffalo. It was as Buffalo as beef on weck, chicken wings and Lafayette Square.
In a 1972 interview with Programmers Digest, Kaye used the term "unpredictable predictability" to describe the 'KB he commanded. Razor-sharp tight programming, but with personality - that was the WKBW of Jeff Kaye. 'KB was never the same after Kaye left in 1973 as the station went with a more music, less personality approach. Kaye went to do mornings at Buffalo rival WBEN, and later became the voice of NFL Films. He was named to the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Hear Jeff Kaye on 'KB here.
(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)
Station: CKLB Oshawa, Ont.
Date: August 16, 1966
Barry Sarazin was a lot of things to a lot of people.
To his radio listeners he was a broadcaster - and a highly-regarded one - in Ontario communities such as London, Ottawa, Oshawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Smiths Falls and Blind River.
To his students at Fanshawe College in London, Ont. - where he was a professor of radio broadcasting for 28 years - he was a teacher and a mentor.
To his family, he was a husband, father and grandfather.
He was also an avid sailor who held top positions at both the local Power Squadron and Yacht Club in London, Ont.
One of Sarazin's proudest achievements was CIXX-FM, the Fanshawe campus station he founded and helped launch on October 31, 1978. CIXX-FM was the first fully licensed campus radio station in Canada. Sarazin co-authored the station's original CRTC application and managed CIXX-FM in its early years.
Sarazin was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and fought the disease bravely until succumbing November 29, 2005. He was 58 and left behind a legacy that continues with the Barry P. Sarazin Memorial Award, which honours the Fanshawe student who demonstrates the qualities held by Sarazin throughout his teaching and broadcasting career.
In 1966, Sarazin was at CKLB Oshawa. Hear him filling in on the morning show here.
(The Barry Sarazin Collection via Bill Dulmage)
Station: WKNR Dearborn, Mich.
Date: August 23, 1966
Radio consultant Mike Joseph had quite a track record of success on his resume when he arrived in Detroit in 1963 to revamp WKMH. Joseph had launched very successful Top 40 formats at two well-known stations: WKBW Buffalo in 1958 and WABC New York in 1960. He had also been successful with Grand Rapids, Mich., station WLAV.
But WKMH presented quite a challenge, even to Joseph. The station languished near the bottom of the ratings with an adult contemporary format known as "Flagship Radio." So Joseph shook things up - a lot.
Taking on three established rock 'n' roll stations in the market (WJBK, WXYZ and CKLW), Joseph launched WKNR "Keener 13" on October 31, 1963. In an era where stations usually eased into new formats, "Keener" went right for the jugular, opening challenging its competition with a promotion called "Battle of the Giants." The renamed station (it got its call letters from founder Fred Knorr) featured a tight 31-song playlist and a host of personality deejays including Mort Crowley, Robin Seymour, Jim Sanders, Gary Stevens, Bob Green, Bill Phillips and Paul Cannon. Add to that the station's great newscasts, contests and production - not to mention the reverb! - and you had a winning combination.
Keener quickly shot to the top of the Detroit ratings charts. From a ratings share of two before the switch, it consistently garnered shares in the 25 to 30 range after. It was a dominance that would last until CKLW introduced the "Drake" format in 1967 and FM grew in popularity after that. Eventually WKNR faded and was replaced by easy-listening WNIC on April 25, 1972, but not before providing nearly a decade of memorable Top 40 radio.
Jerry Goodwin was WKNR's noon-3 p.m. man from 1964 to 1967. Prior to WKNR, he was at KFDA Amarillo, Tex. (1959), KBOX Dallas (1961) and WQAM Miami (1962). In 1968, he moved over to WKNR-FM and in 1969 to WABX. After stops in Toledo (WIOT, 1972) and a return to Detroit (WWWW, 1972) he moved to Boston in 1976 for stints at WCOZ, WBCN, WCGY and WROL.
Goodwin retired from the biz in 1999 but continued to teach radio at the New England Institute of Art.
Hear Jerry Goodwin here.
(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)
Station: WONE Dayton, Ohio
Date: September 28, 1966
(Picture courtesy Don Williams)
Tune into most music stations after midnight these days and you're most likely to hear syndicated shows, voicetracking or wall-to-wall music. A live voice? Good luck.
But it wasn't always so.
The all-night show used to be alive with real, living, breathing human beings. Jocks not only worked the all-night show but entertained with personality and a more one-on-one relationship with the listener than existed in other dayparts.
Taking us back to that time is this aircheck of Johnny Midnight. That wasn't his real name of course - he was Don Williams and his long resume includes stops at KSTT Davenport, Iowa, WAQI Ashtabula, Ohio, WHK Cleveland, WHLO Akron, Ohio, WELW Willoughby, Ohio, WTOD, WTTO and WSPD Toledo, and WFTL plus sister FM WEWZ (later WJQY) Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Williams was one of the WONE Boss Men from June, 1966 to February, 1968. He told Rock Radio Scrapbook that when he arrived at WONE the program director's opening line was "Welcome, Johnny Midnight"! He wasn't too pleased with being assigned such an air name, and admits he would have stayed at WHK had he known. But Williams says WONE wasn't so bad, he just didn't like being kept in the dark about the Johnny Midnight thing.
Enjoy Johnny Midnight (with newsman Lloyd Nolan) here.
The WONE Boss Men
(l-r) Dave Dayton (Thom Sanders), Wayne Moss, Jerry "Shadoe" Jackson
Johnny Midnight (Don Williams), Rick Stevens, Tom Campbell
(Picture courtesy Don Williams)
(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)
MUNI and JOHNNY MICHAELS
Station: WOR-FM New York
Date: October 8, 1966 (Upgraded 1-3-12)
Progressive rock radio in New York began, oddly enough, without one of the mainstays of the format - disc jockeys.
WOR-FM began playing rock music on July 30, 1966, but because of a AFTRA strike, there were no deejays. Only music, promos, jingles and commercials were played. It would be more than two months - October 8, 1966 - before announcers appeared.
That first day with announcers began with a simulcast of John Gambling's WOR-AM morning show from 6-9 a.m. Then it was Scott Muni 9 a.m.-noon, Johnny Michaels noon-3 p.m., and Muni again 3-6 p.m. Murray the K did 6 p.m.-midnight and Rosko took over from midnight-6 a.m.
While WOR-FM was considered a "progressive rock" station, much of the music on this first day of music with deejays was a grab-bag of Top 40, oldies and album cuts. However, it was much different in approach from the AM stations of the day, more low-key, much looser and relaxed.
WOR-FM only stayed with the progressive rock format for about a year - the Bill Drake "Big Town Sound" (Top 40) debuted on 98.7 in November, 1967. But it helped launch a new era in rock radio.
Hear Scott Muni and Johnny Michaels on WOR-FM here.
AUDIO ENHANCEMENT by Andy Rebscher
Station: WIXY Cleveland
Date: October, 1966
Jack Armstrong got his start in his home state of North Carolina, at stations like WCOG Greensboro and WAYS Charlotte. His first out-of-state radio gig was in 1966, at WIXY Cleveland. As he did throughout much of his early career, Armstrong held down the evening shift at "Wixie". He was part of WIXY lineup that included Jerry Brooke, Johnny Canton, Johnny Walters, Al Gates and Bobby Magic - names which echo only in our memories now but which resonated loud and clear at the time.
Jack Armstrong died March 23, 2008 after a fall at his home in High Point, N.C. He was 62.
Hear Jack Armstrong on WIXY here.
Subject: BIG 93
Station: KHJ Los Angeles
Date: December 30, 1966
(Johnny Mitchell is shown on this KHJ chart from December 28, 1966/Courtesy Tom Howard)
KHJ's call letters stood for Kindness, Happiness
and Joy, and there was plenty
of that to go around for the Los Angeles station back in the 1960s.
It was Boss Radio, and its tight format and restrictive playlist garnered huge ratings and a big place in Top 40 radio history. And while deejays were kept on a short rein, a few personalities did develop, most notably Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele. It was memorable, energetic radio that just seems to get better the more we look back on it.
On December 30, 1966, Robert W. Morgan, Frank Terry and Gary Mack and the other KHJ jocks counted down the Big 93 of 1966.
You can hear it here.
(The Tom Howard Collection)
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